Size: 17x21 cm
V Premio Internacional de Fotografía Pilar Citoler, 2010
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The photographic work of Karen Knorr has developed intellectually and aesthetically since the mid 1980’s, following an initial practice relating to social documentary, Knorr discovered a new area of investigation that went hand in hand with her natural curiosity, interest and knowledge of art theory and art history.
Knorr’s practice has developed a deep engagement and fascination with taxidermy, objects and spaces, in a conceptual practice that continually and consistently disrupts the institutional gaze. Knorr embraces pluralism and the deconstruction of institutions, language, desire, gender and fantasy; issues that dominated the post structural theoretical landscape of the 1980’s and 90’s but the originality and strength of Knorr’s recent work develops these themes and brings new surprising influences to bear, especially after her trip to India in 2008.
Ritual, display and death inform Knorr’s poetic, deeply mysterious, playful, smart, and fascinating work that is original in ideas and concepts, and in methods of production. Knorr’s vision and the techniques that she utilises make her akin to a painter rather than a ‘straight’ photographer, she shoots using a large format camera, yet spends many hours in her studio on the digital (post) production of a single image, moving and inserting, editing, enhancing, highlighting and intensifying colour; Knorr’s key board and computer screen are her palette and paintbrush, the final photographic print that the viewer sees via the gallery is her canvas. Knorr’s practice is enacted via a creative process that is a direct and intense encounter with technology whilst at the same time embracing traditional photographic techniques. The spaces represented form a nostalgic link with the past, the disappearing rituals and sensibility, hierarchical values, royalty and aristocracy as a lost race, a trace of history, private as well as public as in the past many of the museums Knorr chooses to photograph were the homes of the royal and aristocratic families.
Knorr embraces the spaces of high culture with a sense of the ‘Baroque’; the intense colouration drenched onto the surface of the photographic paper produces an excess of aesthetic experience, which is a familiar sign in Baroque imagery and architecture.